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Author Topic: Weapons at Faire?  (Read 1988 times)

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Offline WhistlingAngel

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Weapons at Faire?
« on: May 16, 2015, 06:08:13 PM »
So for anyone who may’ve missed my intro, my name is Doug and I hail from Pennsylvania. I have actually never attended a Renaissance Faire in my life, but I’m planning to attend the Pittsburgh Faire this year.

Because I am new to this culture, my knowledge of such events is slim-to-none. That’s why I am hoping to run an idea by those of you who are willing to listen and lend your opinion. 

I am building an onager (mangonel) that I would love to display at a Medieval/Renaissance Faire. Could I talk with Faire management about displaying my work when it is complete (probably not until next year), or would such a display be unwelcome/frowned upon?

I ask for two reasons: 1) because an Onager is older technology relegated to the ancient/medieval time period more so than belonging to the Renaissance (so perhaps period-correct fairegoers would be disappointed?). And 2) the obvious safety/insurance concerns that any weapon’s presence will bring about in the modern day (and by this I am not implying that it would necessarily be demonstrated, only that it’s mere appearance and construction make obvious the fact that it’s not a display piece).

If location and management permit it be burdened, loaded and shot all the better, but I think it would prove popular as a photo-op for some of the fairegoers (especially kids!).  I am working on developing a composite concrete siege ball known as the Whistling Angel MKIV. It can be flown as a dead-blow round, but also comes pre-cast with 22 deep-groove divots to allow for accelerant saturation on incendiary rounds. These divots give the balls a mournful “whistle” as they sail. Kids could pose with the balls and the larger kids/adults could try to pick them up (picture opportunity). 

I’ve built a trebuchet in the past, but the Onager is smaller, more nimble, less fragile and can be just as powerful-per-size if properly designed, built and tensioned.

So out of curiosity, what is the general consensus on weapons at the faire? I take it the swords and bows some members carry are real, no?  Thanks in advance for any opinions/advice. Doug 
"Therefore Christian men be sure, wealth or rank possessing, ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing." ~ John Mason Neale & Thomas Helmore, s/t 'Good King Wenceslas'

Offline Wyn

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 11:06:43 PM »
I'm still fairly new to the culture, but in my small experience weapons definitely make an appearance. I for one would be extremely interested in seeing this contraption. I hope someone can better answer your question, but I thought I would comment :}

Offline Hoowil

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 11:54:28 PM »
I've seen trebuchets fired at a few faires, as well as cannon, so it's not out of the question. I've even seen a ten foot tall fire breathing steel Dragon (amazing at night). The main concern for the like is usually space. Check with your local faires, you might be surprised. They may want to see it ahead of time, or require insurance, but there is bound to be a taker.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup.

Offline Merlin the Elder

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2015, 07:17:16 AM »
In answer to one of your questions, yes, those swords are quite real! However, not all faires permit weapons, and the ones that do require that they be peace-tied. Some do not allow bows to be strung.

There are medieval period festivals, notably Sherwood Forest Faire, in McDade, Texas, just east of Austin. Oklahoma Ren Faire, a.k.a., Castleton, has a display of such weaponry, including a trebuchet.
Living life in the slow lane
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I've upped my standards. Now, up yours.
...and may all your babies be born naked...

Offline WhistlingAngel

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2015, 03:30:24 PM »
Thank you all for your responses, I'm feeling a bit more optimistic after reading what you all had to say about it. I am building a double hasp into the trigger mechanism to accept a keyed pin (like those you would find in use on the receiver of a car's trailer hitch) so the Onager could be "locked out" for safety.

Wow, a 10-foot fire breathing dragon sounds awesome! I can't wait to see what I might find at my first Faire.
"Therefore Christian men be sure, wealth or rank possessing, ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing." ~ John Mason Neale & Thomas Helmore, s/t 'Good King Wenceslas'

Offline Rowan MacD

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 09:39:14 AM »
  As Merlin has said: Not all faires allow weapons; and some don't allow weapons of ANY sort.  Even obviously toy guns (I have a prop flintlock that doesn't even fire caps, and I cannot bring it in) are not allowed.

 Kansas City for example: does not allow any weapons. At all.  Peace tied or not.
 They have made people leave eating knives and 'bodice daggers'(if recognized for what they are) in their cars. 

  Some of the larger faires have opted for a 'no weapons' policy since alcohol is served on site.  The only people you will see with rapiers, swords, cutlasses and daggers are cast members, and they have them peace tied unless they will use them as a part of an act or skit in the lanes.
  Paradoxically-these faires nearly always have vendors on site who sell these weapons.; but if you buy one-you will have to pick it up on the way out the gate- you cannot carry it with you. 
What doesn't kill me-had better run.
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19.7% FaireFolk pure-80.3% FaireFolk corrupt

Offline Dinobabe

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 09:42:26 AM »
I think the point is that you may be welcome with open arms... or... run off with pitch forks and torches.   ;)  Be prepared for either response.
Natasha McCallister
Bristol Faire 1988-2005
The Wizard's Chamber/Sir Don Palmist
59.2% FaireFolk Corrupt
midsouthrenfaire.com

Offline Rowan MacD

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2015, 09:53:01 AM »
^^that  ;D^^.
  The Pittsburgh fest has one of those nebulous 'peace tie is OK' for edged weapons; but does not mention firearms of any sort, including bows and crossbows.   
  I would definitely check with somebody there before you bring it. 

 My husband is a trebuchet freak.  He has 3 (of varying scales) at the last count, and is in the planning stages for a 4th.
  Half of our garage is filled with timbers, ropes and wheels.  He is still looking for a venue that will allow him to play with his toys.
What doesn't kill me-had better run.
IWG wench #3139 
19.7% FaireFolk pure-80.3% FaireFolk corrupt

Offline Merlin the Elder

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2015, 11:02:17 AM »
What?!? You don't let him play in the house??
Living life in the slow lane
ROoL #116; the Jack of Daniels; AARP #7; SS# 000-00-0013
I've upped my standards. Now, up yours.
...and may all your babies be born naked...

Offline Rowan MacD

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2015, 11:08:34 AM »
not until I sew up some stuffed cows as ammunition.
What doesn't kill me-had better run.
IWG wench #3139 
19.7% FaireFolk pure-80.3% FaireFolk corrupt

Offline Dinobabe

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2015, 12:17:53 PM »
Natasha McCallister
Bristol Faire 1988-2005
The Wizard's Chamber/Sir Don Palmist
59.2% FaireFolk Corrupt
midsouthrenfaire.com

Offline PollyPoPo

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2015, 07:23:50 PM »
My SIL, with the help of some of the grandkids, built one on my property.  Daughter, SIL, and 4 kids took turns, with various fruits and settings.

Pumpkins were a bit too heavy, even smaller ones.  Oranges and apples too light.  Medium squash or grapefruit were just right.

20-30 feet if I recall.  But it was a rather smallish trebuchet.

Daughter and SIL do not have children - these are my grandkids, plus a couple from SIL's brother.  Kind of explains why we get trebuchets in the back barn and why the boys were given wooden catapults about age 5 (put away for safekeeping after we realized those wooden balls went 10' feet or so).  We also used two layers of the blue Styrofoam insulation boards and found that arrows knock plugs out of the back even if the arrows do not go all the way through.

For Christmas after granddaughter turned 13 she received a bodice dagger with sheath.  Suppose next Christmas the other young lady will get one similar.   They will be wearing them as a short-swords until older, a lot older.  Come to think of it, a properly positioned bodice dagger might help them improve their postures even more than a boned corset will.  Humm.....
Polly PoPo
(aka Grannie)

Offline WhistlingAngel

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2015, 09:29:01 AM »
I thought it might come down to that, a hit or miss situation (no pun intended!). No doubt it would be fun for me to display the Onager, but I'm interested in attending Faires regardless, simply for the camaraderie of the event. I feel like no one has any ability to have fun anymore and I think attending a Ren. Faire will help me change my mind about that!   
"Therefore Christian men be sure, wealth or rank possessing, ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing." ~ John Mason Neale & Thomas Helmore, s/t 'Good King Wenceslas'

Offline BLAKDUKE

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2015, 10:44:16 AM »
Don't get me started on some faires ridiculous weapons policies.  It always seems to be prefaced with "we have that because some drunk............" 
Simple solution... CONTROLS THE DAMN DRUNK.  In any event bring the scenario to the management.  In addition try some of the southern faires, they are less inclined to fear weapons.

Good luck.
THE BLAKDUKE   
Ancient swordsman/royalty
Have Crown/Sword Will Travel

Offline Rowan MacD

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2015, 12:00:57 PM »
    The only one that I know of around here with a more-or-less complete 'no weapons' policy is KCRF.  All of the rest of the ones I go to are OK with peace ties. 

   It seems that the biggest faires are  the ones with the most stringent policies.

   I miss the Directorie of Renaissance faires: A very complete online site that used to be a one stop place to check whether pets, weapons, and camping were permitted, as well as current ticket prices. The entries were kept up to date by the faires themselves.    Faires were listed by date and by state, included the 'year' , Village/Towne name,  and any themed weekends.   
  They included the faire website link if you wished to visit that; but primarily it was designed to provide matter of fact answers to the most  FAQ without having to hunt them down, or wade through a bunch of graphic intense and pop up plagued pages.
   
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 12:19:36 PM by Rowan MacD »
What doesn't kill me-had better run.
IWG wench #3139 
19.7% FaireFolk pure-80.3% FaireFolk corrupt

Offline WhistlingAngel

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2015, 05:54:18 PM »
Thank you for the wish of good luck BLAKDUKE.

As for the "Directorie of Renaissance faires" Rowan mentioned, it sounds like it was the cat's meow. Are there any comparable lists today?
"Therefore Christian men be sure, wealth or rank possessing, ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing." ~ John Mason Neale & Thomas Helmore, s/t 'Good King Wenceslas'

Offline Gauwyn of Bracknell

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2015, 05:59:07 AM »
There is a link at the top of these pages to the Renlist
Born 500 years late

Gauwyn of Bracknell

Offline WhistlingAngel

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2015, 09:08:32 AM »
Well that about speaks for my level of observation! Thanks Gauwyn.
"Therefore Christian men be sure, wealth or rank possessing, ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing." ~ John Mason Neale & Thomas Helmore, s/t 'Good King Wenceslas'

Offline Rowan MacD

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Re: Weapons at Faire?
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2015, 10:46:49 AM »
There is a link at the top of these pages to the Renlist
  Renlist is about as close as you can get anymore.   

  The Directorie was also a place to list vendors, artisans and performing groups looking for work, and posting their event itinerary.

  What I liked about the individual listings on the Directorie; was that they were mostly yes/no entries- dates, statistics, prices and pertinent info about the faire (like pet and weapons policy) along with email addys and POC's for performers and vendors. 
  Since it was a free listing-there was little room for hyperbole-you want to wade through graphic intense commercials you go to the faire website for that.  I personally don't want to hunt down the information I need on the websites.
What doesn't kill me-had better run.
IWG wench #3139 
19.7% FaireFolk pure-80.3% FaireFolk corrupt

 

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